George Seeber Crawford, 89, died Tuesday June 7, 2022, exactly as he had planned, at home with his beloved wife of 49 years a day after driving (probably too fast) through Palatka in search of pool chemicals and dog food.
George was born and raised in Waukegan, Illinois and served 31 years in the U.S. Army.
Over the course of his career, George alternated infantry and helicopter cavalry assignments globally, including in Korea, Japan, Europe, Vietnam, and Africa, and the aviation tactics he helped develop were instrumental in establishing modern special operations aviation units. For his service, George was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Master Aviator Badge, the Purple Heart, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, twenty-two Air medals, three Presidential Unit Citations and numerous other American and South Vietnamese valor and meritorious awards.
George earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in education from Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts, though his heart would always belong to Wisconsin and Florida State University football.
George, his wife Mary, and youngest children, Colleen and John, moved to Palatka in November 1982 where he spent his time selling burgers at PHS football games, camping with the Boy Scouts, and mentoring future leaders across the community. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Kiwanis Florida, and as president and secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Palatka, president of the Putnam Historical Society, and president of the St. Johns River Valley Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.
He was also a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, The Disabled American Veterans, The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Special Operations Association, American Legion China Post 1, and the National Rifle Association. He was long-time secretary of Keep Putnam Beautiful and a Haven Hospice volunteer, and a charter member of St Peter’s Anglican Church, East Palatka where he served as secretary and warden on the church steering committee.
George is preceded in death by two of his daughters, Debra Crawford King and Vickie Lyn Crawford Kinney, his parents, George and Mary Crawford, and his sister, Joan Crawford Stepneck.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Mary Gionet Crawford: three children; George Charles Crawford of Fort Worth, Texas, Colleen Mary Crawford of St Augustine, Florida, and John Francis Crawford of Baltimore, Maryland.
George was a devoted and loving grandfather to his eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren: Cami Godsey; Lt. Ted Kinney, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy; Christopher and Jayden Crawford; Sarah King; Lindsay Sargent; Liam Crawford Tribby; Berkely, Kendall, Charlotte, and Georgia Crawford; Silas, Samuel, and Sophie Sargent; Easton Crawford, Oliver Scott, and Ryker Kinney.
Services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 16, 2022, at Johnson-Overturf Chapel in Palatka with Father John Jacobs officiating. Burial will take place at 9:00 am on Friday, June 17, 2022, at Jacksonville National Cemetery with Father Ron Camarda officiating the committal service. Full military honors will also be rendered by the U S Army. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Thursday beginning at 10:00 am until time of services.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Boy Scouts of America, North Florida Council, Timucua District, 521 S. Edgewood Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32205-5359, (904) 388-059 or to the Kiwanis Club of Palatka, P.O Box 313, Palatka, FL 32178, (386)-301-9687.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at George’s Book of Memories page at www.johnsonoverturffunerals.com .
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.